Tuesday, 14 August, 2018


Astronomers spot a trio of Earth-sized planets orbiting a distant star

Representational Image YouTube SciNews Representational Image YouTube Sci News
Kristine Garrett | 11 June, 2018, 16:35

A team of scientists led by Abhijit Chakraborty of Ahmedabad-based Physical Research Laboratory has discovered a new planet.

Astronomers from the University of Oviedo in Spain said that they were able to detect the system, which includes three earth-like planets, writes the Chronicle.info with reference for Today. At least three rocky planets have been found, two of them being 1.1 times the radius of Earth, and the third planet being nearly the exact size.

The exoplanet is reported to be smaller than Saturn but bigger than Neptune. The mass of the planet has been estimated to be around 27 times the mass of the Earth whereas its radius is estimated to be 6 times that of the Earth.

One of them is just 160 light years from Earth and includes three planets that are remarkably similar in size to our own. Such a high temperature might make it uninhabitable for living creatures.

This breakthrough was achieved by measuring the mass of the planet using the indigenously designed "PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-sky Search" (PARAS) spectrograph.

On the other hand, only a few such accurate and powerful spectrographs exist around the world, the majority of which being in the USA and Europe. Since the planet revolves around host star EPIC 211945201 or K2-236, it will be known as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b - ISRO said.

However, calculations suggest that the heavy elements, ice, silicates, and iron content are 60-70 % of the total mass.

Researchers at the PRL believes that the discovery of such planets will help them to study the formation of sub-Neptune or sub-Saturn like planets.

The scientists observed the target over a time 420 days or about 1.5 years. The temperature of the surface of the newly-found planet is around 600 degrees Celsius. These are also called "extrasolar planets". Also, they are extremely far away.

According to Phys.org, the important discovery of these new planetary systems was made possible by the K2 mission that was undertaken with the use of NASA's Kepler satellite, with work that began in earnest in November, 2013.

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